Little beats the freedom of the open road and a drive to take you wherever you fancy. From the highway that disappears into the Baltic Sea all the way to Australia’s Great Ocean Road, here is a run-down by the team at Chillisauce of five road trips you need to take.
California State Route 1
Much of the Pacific coastline of the US state of California is covered by State Route 1, which runs from Dana Point in Orange County to Leggett in Mendocino County and takes on various names along the way including the Pacific Coast Highway. At each end of the route, it connects with highways Interstate 5 and US Highway 101 for onward travel around the country. Another nickname for this stretch of tarmac is the All American Road, so called for the fact that it trails along some of the most beautiful coastal scenery in the United States. Like Australia’s Great Ocean Road, the road is dedicated to the American armed forces as a Blue Star Memorial Highway.
The coastal roads of Croatia, which line the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, provide some jaw-dropping vistas of this stunning part of Europe that is drawing more and more travellers every year. Though most of the road lies within Croatian borders, Croatia’s shape means the road also passes through Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro – as anyone travelling by road to Dubrovnik from elsewhere in Croatia discovers when they look out of the car window to discover they’re in Bosnia! The road also runs close to the Slovenian border in places. Until recently the road was the primary means of getting to the Adriatic coast within Croatia and, while of late motorways have been built that have taken away from the need to use this road, this highway still beats the rest for killer views.
Of all the inspiring drives, the Aussies probably just about steal the show with their Great Ocean Road – and for the views if nothing else. Australian National Heritage listed, the 151-mile road trails the south-eastern coast of the country and stretches from Torquay to Warrnambool, both in the state of Victoria. The road, which takes you through a range of challenging terrain and acts as a tourist attraction drawing in those from all over the world, is actually the world’s biggest war memorial – it was built by soldiers returning to Australia between 1919 and 1932, after the First World War, and is dedicated to those who died in the war. As you might expect from the name, the principle attraction here is the incredible view of the so-called Shipwreck Coast – expect to take in the Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean as you journey along it.
The countries in Scandinavia don’t tend to do things by half, and the mega Oresund bridge is no exception. Connecting the Danish city of Copenhagen and Malmo in Sweden, it is the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe – seven and a half miles, made up of a road for five miles from the shore out to Sweden’s artificial Peberholm island in the centre of the Oresund straight between the two countries, followed by a further two and a half miles inside a tunnel from Peberholm to the Danish island of Amager. The bridge, which was awarded the IABSE Outstanding Architecture Award in 2002, connects the Scandinavian road and rail networks with those of central and western Europe. But thanks to the Schengen agreement, those using it can expect no passport inspections – though there are random customs checks on entering Sweden from Denmark.
For a view with a difference, head to this cable-stayed road bridge in Aveyron, southern France. The bridge, which spans the valley of the river Tarn, is the tallest bridge in the world and attains a height of 1,125 feet at its tallest point. Part of the route from the French capital of Paris down to the major southern coastal city of Montpellier, the bridge cost around €400 million to construct and was opened in December 2004. Take a drive across it and you’re literally riding through the clouds!